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Kohl’s brings home Oscar gold with savvy social media tactics

oscars

Vanessa Bayer took part in the Kohl's live stream

Kohl’s emerged as the clear winner among brands competing to gain the most social media glory during this year’s Academy Awards thanks to a celebrity-supported live stream and relevant, discussion-inciting tweets.

The retailer made its presence known during the 88th Oscars on Sunday by rolling out several new television commercials and complementing traditional advertising methods with a strong social media strategy. Other mobile marketing runner-ups included Special K, JCPenney and Dunkin’ Donuts, all of whom took the opportunity to bring Oscars excitement to their own campaigns.

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“With Kohl’s being an official sponsor of the Oscars, it absolutely makes sense for it to leverage its official status and activate the sponsorship through its own social channels,” said Alan Cassinelli, marketing specialist at Postano. “As for other retailers, they need to have a relevant connection to the event like dressing certain celebrities or other unique angles to warrant a strong presence.”

Competing for highest engagement
While Mad Max: Fury Road and Spotlight nabbed the highest number of Oscars during Sunday’s broadcast, several brands ramped up their social media engagement to connect with film enthusiasts. Kohl’s took over from JCPenney as the exclusive retailer sponsor for this year’s event, and made sure that its amusing television spots were augmented with Twitter posts that invited consumers to share their opinions on relevant topics.

For example, Kohl’s encouraged followers to reveal why they want to thank the number-one kid in their life by prompting responses to a short clip uploaded onto its Twitter page. It also asked individuals to upload thank-you speeches to family members using the hashtag #AllTheGoodStuff.


Kohl's communicated extensively with social media users during the Oscars

Perhaps most notably, the brand hosted a live streaming party on social with the support of Saturday Night Live cast member and actress Vanessa Bayer. Television viewers were urged to follow the live stream on their mobile devices thanks to a helpful note at the end of each commercial, proving that second-screen experiences are paramount for any major cultural event.

Ms. Bayer would read users’ uploaded thank-you speeches aloud during the live stream and engage in humorous skits, such as creating a miniature version of the Dolby Theatre out of cheese cubes.

Followers were also encouraged to create a #NewOscarsCategory on Twitter.

Rolling out relevant content
Dunkin’ Donuts was another major marketer joining the Oscars mobile marketing frenzy. The chain introduced red carpet-inspired mgift cards, available within its mobile application, as well as new geofilters.

Consumers who visited a Dunkin’ Donuts location over the weekend could snap a selfie on Snapchat and embellish the image with a golden cup-themed geofilter.

Meanwhile, Special K discovered an opportunity to showcase its products in a flattering light by superimposing a bowl of cereal over a red carpet. The post’s caption read “Breakfast: Best supporting role every single day.”


Girl Scouts took advantage of celebrities' eagerness to purchase its cookies

Girl Scouts also had a momentous night, thanks to Oscars host Chris Rock’s impromptu decision to allow a troop of Scouts to sell cookies to the celebrities in attendance. Social media was soon filled with stars’ photos of their favorite Girl Scouts snacks, which the company immediately leveraged in its own tweets.

Responding to buzzworthy moments during major live events has been a lucrative strategy for many brands with significant social media followings.

Numerous brands delivered well-crafted mobile strategies capitalizing on the excitement both before and after the Super Bowl, overshadowing any efforts to drive engagement during the popular live event (see story).

“Events like these are great opportunities for brands to activate their community rather than shout and try to steal attention,” Mr. Cassinelli said. “Brands can foster better relationships with their fans by doing live streams and watch parties, using hashtags to bring people together and create a connected feeling between individual fans and a brand.”

Alex Samuely is staff writer on Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach her at alex@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Content, mobile, mobile marketing, kohls, oscars, academy awards, special k, girl scouts, dunkin donuts, postano

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